The thought of change is ominous for most people. Many people experience the desire to change, yet few have the enduring will to make it so. We see the problem with change in the high recidivism rates of addiction and in the growing health and wellness industry whether there is always a new diet, a new fitness technique and a new lifestyle must do that will change your life. And while some of us may try or think that we have changed something, often we may think we have kicked the habit, only to find that we either return to our old ways of find a substitution.
Yet, there are notable success stories. For example, the Cleveland Clinic has had incredible success helping their employees to stop smoking, eat well, and stay fit. They start with a specific definition of wellness involving five normal health measurements including normal blood pressure and body-mass index (BMI). They instituted a comprehensive wellness plan that includes smoking cessation classes, farmer’s markets, banning smoking, trans-fats, and sugary drinks from the work environment, free yoga classes, and counsellors to help people who are trying to lose weight. It turns out that changing behavior doesn’t require one trick, it requires many.
To see these processes in action, let’s look a bit more carefully at why the Cleveland Clinic has been successful at changing people’s behavior.
First, they optimize people’s goals by focusing them on specific health targets that are measurable. The five normal values are all targets that people can influence through their daily behaviors.
Second, the Cleveland Clinic changes people’s environment to make the behaviors that people should perform easy and those that they should avoid hard. By making the campus smoke-free, they require smokers to walk along way if they want a cigarette during work hours. By banning trans-fats and sugary drinks, they make healthy food options more easily available than unhealthy ones.
Third, the clinic engages people’s social network. People are a powerful source of motivation to change behavior. Sharing a yoga class with colleagues is a great way to reduce stress along with your colleagues. Weight-loss counsellors provide a friendly face who can provide instant personal advice on eating right.
By removing lots of temptations from people’s lives, the Cleveland Clinic reduces their employees’ reliance on willpower to overcome temptations and instead focuses them on positive behaviors that can be turned into habits. Research demonstrates that willpower is prone to failure. In addition, studies suggest that new habits are learned only when a behavior is repeated in a context. You cannot create a habit not to perform an action.*
The success of the Cleveland model while proven is also lacking in its effectiveness and design. While trying to change the habits of the organization by attempting to shift behaviors is effective, the problem becomes one of intention and choice… if people merely stop smoking because its become a greater inconvenience the decision to stop smoking or smoke less is not based on their conscious decision to stop smoking because it is unhealthy but rather because its a hassle. What happens long-term when they level the job, and what are the chances that they replaced their nicotine fix with an alternative substance, say increasing their coffee intake. Hence the behavioral change needs to be supported by a shift in beliefs with a focus on values… Simple!
Changing our habits is never simple: compliance and a bigger hammer is only an illusion of change. Changing one’s habits requires all three steps as defined by the Cleveland model above…
- Defined The Goals and Measures
- Implement Change to Support a Healthier Environment
- Engage Employee Network (Community) to Support Cultural Change
…as well as four more key factors…
- Initial and Continued Employee / Participant / Community Development, Participation and Contribution of Program Set Up and Evolution
- Structure Computer-Based Transformational Learning Process to Support Empowerment and Critical Thinking, so that CHANGE BECOMES A CONSCIOUS INTENDED AND CLEAR CHOICE
- Family Support to Ensure Long-term Change and True CRS
- 24/7 Support from Online Volunteers Through Company EAR Apps
The Buddy App Architecture provide the necessary orientation (to define purpose), training (to teach how) and implementation (to provide interactive application orientation to training) 7 Simple steps to real success… For a Hospital like Cleveland or any Organization looking to implement real and lasting change. The last four steps could mean the difference between short-term and long-term health, not only for the employees and their families, but this simple model, delivered in the right way could be implemented on a broader scale to their patients, customers, supplies, their families and beyond. This is not a pipe dream, its achievable through Private Branded PWI Co-Lab Incubators … [Click to Learn More]
*Source: Art Markman //www.science20.com/art_markman/science_change-122696
Possibilities for Consideration
Take a moment and examine…
- As you reviewed the material above, what stood out to you?
- What is the potential impact, economically and/or socially?
- What action is needed to stop or support this idea?
- You may want to consider whether you:
- want to be aware of,
- should become supportive of,
- would want to be active in this topic?
Add Your Insight
I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Being willing is not enough; we must do.
LEONARDO DA VINCI